ST. LOUIS – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to remind women that early detection and screening can save lives. Approximately one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
Dr. Cheryl Herman, a breast radiologist at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, says women without any known high-risk factors should get a mammogram every year, starting at age 40. Take a breast cancer risk assessment here.
If you have a known risk due to family members or genetic markers, mammograms should start earlier and you should be screened by a 3D mammogram to better diagnose breast cancer.
“Once we read the mammogram and we find an abnormality, then we’ll go ahead and do, most likely, a needle biopsy. And we either perform the biopsy with mammography or with ultrasound,” Herman said. “Once we get that diagnosis of cancer, then we will get one of our breast surgeons involved.”
The doctor says advances in treatment include customized treatment and recovery plans. Advanced treatment options offer options like non-radioactive tracers. All breast surgeons at SSM Health hospitals are trained in Hidden Scar® surgical techniques for mastectomy and partial mastectomy procedures.
Hidden Scar® procedures ensure the incisions are in a location that is hard to see, so the scar is less visible when your incision heals. This option helps restore a patient’s confidence after treatment. She also notes that SSM Health provides tailored care and treatment for each individual patient, with multiple types of therapies being offered, including radiation, chemotherapy and more.
To learn more about breast cancer diagnosis and treatment options, click here.
The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on KPLR News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.